There’s no denying that chemistry can be a tricky subject, even for students who love science.
Between learning the elements, mastering the math, and navigating the vocabulary, it can be more than a little overwhelming. Thankfully, there are resources that can help. A professional chemistry tutor is one of them. Does your student need a chemistry tutor to master the subject? It’s important to find out early if you want to set them up for a struggle-free year and the best grade possible. Not only that, doing well in chemistry will pay dividends for students who plan to major in STEM subjects in college, especially if they plan to apply to a selective degree program.
Here are some signs that your student could benefit from our one-on-one help with this subject.
#1 Motivation Is Lacking
It’s natural for students to avoid their homework to some degree. After a full day at school and extracurriculars, they may just want to go home and decompress. However, there’s a difference between putting chemistry assignments off for the short-term and seriously procrastinating.
If your student seems extremely disinterested and unmotivated to approach their homework, then a lack of understanding could be behind their hesitation. This also applies if they begin their work, but then quickly lose interest and focus.
An tutor can help them move past this roadblock. A quality tutor who delivers direct, one-on-one teaching and encouragement should be adept at helping students not just tolerate but actually enjoy learning the subject at hand. (If the cost of tutoring is an issue, look to your student’s teacher for guidance and support or encourage your student to study with classroom peers.)
#2 Grades Are Dropping
Monitoring your student’s grades is a simple way to stay on top of their academic performance and gauge which subjects they’re struggling to understand.
The complexity of chemistry is enough to confound even a straight-A student. If your child has always earned high marks, you might be surprised to see them suddenly bring home a failing grade on a test, worksheet, or quiz. When this happens, you might not be the only one disappointed. Experts explain that bad grades can negatively affect a student’s self-esteem, deflating their confidence and making it more challenging to try again.
A chemistry tutor can help recalibrate a student’s approach to studying a subject by offering new and different ways to learn a complicated topic like chemistry. With this type of help, low grades can be a temporary hurdles. As they better understand chemistry, new approaches can mean new confidence and better grades.
# 3 Assignments Take a Long Time
If a subject doesn’t come easily for your child, you may notice that they’re spending an inordinate amount of time on their homework, lab assignments or school projects. While there will undoubtedly be assignments that require substantial work and time to complete, it could be a sign that they’re stuck on a particular topic and can’t work past it. When this happens, a tutor can help break even the most difficult chemistry topics into approachable segments that are easier to learn and retain. This way, they’ll be able to approach their work in a more easily digestible manner that will help them require less time studying.
#4 Hiding Tests or Report Cards
When you ask your student about their chemistry class, are you met with silence or a shrug? Does it seem as though they’re hiding something from you? If your student seems to be more elusive lately, talk to them about their performance in class. They may be hesitant or even unwilling to talk about their grades or show you their latest reports. You might find them in the wastebasket or discover them in the bottom of their bookbag.
Complex subjects like chemistry don’t have to be a source of shame or fear for your student. With the right kind of support, they can regain the confidence they need to do their best.
#5 Their Teacher Reaches Out
Sometimes, a student’s performance can slip to such a degree that their teacher will reach out to parents directly or raise it in a parent-teacher conferences. If you receive a phone call, message, or email about your child’s chemistry progress, this could be a red flag that they need additional help in the subject.
Rather than dread this conversation, consider it as an impetus for change and use it to your advantage. Ask the teacher if there are any particular concepts that they’re struggling to grasp, so you know where your child should focus their studying efforts.
#6 They’ve Tried Other Study Aids
There are countless methods that students will use to prepare for a big test or power through a hard assignment. They might create flashcards, take detailed notes, illustrate diagrams, or meet with a small group of friends to go over the concepts. There are times when these types of study aids can prove beneficial. However, take note of how often your child uses them and whether or not they’re actually working. Study groups can turn into chat sessions, flashcards get lost, and staring at notes can begin to feel mindless after a while.
An engaging, personable tutor can help design a targeted study approach for your student. This way, you can rest assured that they’re using tools and resources best suited for their needs. If other study materials haven’t worked to date, it’s time to give a professional tutoring company a try.
#7 They Seem Stressed
According to recent research, 75% of high school students and 50% of middle schoolers report feeling stressed over schoolwork all the time or part of the time. Does your child seem to be especially withdrawn, overwhelmed, or frustrated lately? If so, they might be feeling a lack of control related to their struggles in chemistry class. When students get stressed, they can exhibit both physical and behavioral symptoms.
A few of the ones to look out for include:
- Chest pain
- Decreased appetite
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your child, sit down with them and ask about their progress in school. If they’re feeling stretched to the brim over their chemistry homework (or any other subject is proving tough), a professional tutor can help.
#8 Test Day Is a Challenge
Your student might excel in basic chemistry, and do well on in-class assignments, homework and labs. Then, when the day of their big exam rolls around, they go blank and have a difficult time recalling or expressing what they know. This isn’t uncommon, and you don’t have to categorize your child as simply being a poor test taker. Our professional tutors can share helpful test-taking strategies to help them overcome this challenge.
This might be as simple as preparing more extensively in the days leading up to the test. Or, it might mean reading the directions and prompts more carefully and asking for clarification when needed. We can also perform time drills to help students prep for timed tests without anxiety.
With our guidance, test day will be one to look forward to, rather than one to dread.
#9 Their Chemistry Materials Are Unorganized
When your child is struggling in chemistry, you might find plastic beakers, worksheets, and study guides in places you’d never expect! Organization is an important executive functioning skill, along with time management and task prioritization.
Most of the time, this doesn’t mean they’re being intentionally messy. Rather, it’s a sign that they’re having a difficult time processing the work ahead of them. A tutor can help them take a calmer and more effective approach to their work.
With their support, your student will learn how to adequately schedule their time and remain organized. Some students work best by making lists in a planner, while others thrive with a visual whiteboard that displays their pending assignments. Again, it all comes back to the power of an individualized, tailored approach that meets your student where they are.
#10 They Ask For Help
Sometimes, a child will come out and specifically request your help or for the support of an outside tutor. This is a great sign that they’re ready to work in this environment and take the next step toward improving their chemistry grades.
As you navigate your options, look for a local resource like our team at Tungsten Prep. A local company is more likely to be familiar with your school’s curriculum. Your student deserves a tutor who goes the extra mile and fits a role beyond that of a homework helper or test prep coach. If your child approaches you about hiring a tutor, you’ve already crossed the most important hurdle and it’s time to get started!
#11 Memorizing Organic Chemistry is Crushing Them
When it comes to organic chemistry, even the best students can hit a wall. Organic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that studies carbon-based compounds. In layman’s terms, organic chemistry requires students to memorize the name and structure of dozens of molecules and chemical reactions. Students assume that their organic chemistry unit is just a long slog of brutal memorization.
In fact, a great organic chemistry tutor recognizes that organic chemistry is about understanding patterns – not just memorization. Your chemistry tutor can help your child break through the brute force of memorization and grasp the underlying concepts.
#12 They Need to Prep for the AP Chemistry Exam
Students don’t just need a chemistry tutor when they’re struggling. If your child is taking the AP Chemistry exam in May, they may want to prep with a chemistry tutor who knows the ins and outs of the AP exam. The AP Chemistry exam is tough. In 2021, only 51% of students passed the AP exam. That is, they received a score of 3 or higher and were eligible for college credit. Even worse, only 11% of students earned the top score of 5!
Maybe your student struggled all year. Now, they wonder whether they should take the AP exam at all. Maybe they sailed through their AP class and are shooting for a 5 on the AP exam.
Needless to say, an expert AP chemistry tutor can ease the stress of AP exams for a wide range of students.
Find a Chemistry Tutor Today
It’s never easy to watch your child struggle to grasp a certain subject. It’s especially frustrating when the subject is as nuanced and intricate as chemistry.
If any of these 10 signs above sound like your student, we’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation with our parent outreach coordinator today and find a chemistry tutor you can trust! We’ll work with your family to partner your teen with a tutor whose expertise and personality fit their unique learning needs. Then, that tutor will prepare individualized chemistry lessons to fit their own style and speed.